Velomobile shifting diagrams

I made these to illustrate the difference between shifting a Rohloff vs. conventional derailleur/cassette system in a velomobile going at speed. According to Doug Davis at Bicycle Evolution, some novice velonauts desire Rohloffs because they offer a very wide gear range, but the larger gaps between gears make them less efficient at speed. He has data about watts and gear inches and rotations per minute, but I merely tried to convey the drama of having to upshift too fast in a 60+ pound tub:

Rohloff hub: Shifting over 14% at speed puts sudden stress on the velonaut.

For contrast, the illustration below represents a more narrowly spaced conventional rear cassette setup, like what I have on my Mango:

Conventional derailleur/cassette: Shifting in smaller increments reduces stress and maintains efficiency at speed. The velonaut’s cadence slows only slightly after shifting, and quickly returns to normal.

Maybe we’ll talk about this, and other recumbent nerd stuff, on the next Laidback Bike Report.


“Triking Adventurer” for Gary

Gary got a Deluxe Hundred Dollar Drawing package with all the bells and whistles: shipping of the original, a making-of video, and a picture of a bike, for which I now charge extra. Still, this drawing isn’t quite finished, as I left room for optional customization of the pennants and shield (that thing on the luggage carrier, behind the seat, on top of the pannier).

Update: here’s the final, custom-lettered version:


Bicycling is not a “Hobby”

It may be transportation, exercise, or a reason to live, but bicycling is not a “hobby”.

However, the following are:

  • collecting bikes
  • tracking miles
  • recording your speed on various devices
  • scouring online classifieds for more bikes
  • writing about bikes
  • singing about bikes
  • converting people to recumbents
  • reading bike forums
  • researching the fascinating history of your bike(s)
  • buying and selling used bikes
  • planning geowriting routes
  • collecting bike tools
  • arguing about bikes

Glad to clear that up.